FEDERICO CATALA is the latest local hero.
So what is it that this resident of Planes in the relative middle-of-nowhere done to achieve such popularity?
He’s decided to reopen a petrol station. Nothing unusual there, but when it’s a station that’s been closed for six years and drivers have had to travel up to 41 kilometres to fill up, his entrepreneurship has been cheered from the local rooftops.
Up until now, drivers in towns and villages between Muro and Pego have had to navigate a route full of sharp bends and slopes through beautiful scenery along the CV-700 road where it was impossible to find fuel.
The towns and municipalities that will benefit from the reopening of this important service are Benimarfull, Planes, Alpatro, La Carroja, Benissi, Beniali, l’Atzubia, Benillup, Almudaina, Benialfaqui, Catamarruc, Margarida, Alcala de la Jovada, Beniaia, Beniss, Benirrama and Forna.
Depending on how close to the existing gas stations in Muro or Pego, dictated how far they had to drive to their nearest fill-up point after Planes closed.
Those at the midway point suffered the most and it particularly affected farmers, many of whom were forced to install fuel tanks on their property.
Speaking to the Spanish media, Federico Catala – the new proprietor – said that “after being unemployed for some time I took on one of the bars in Planes.
“Now, this opportunity has presented itself and it’s a service that is desperately needed.”